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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

OTHER BACCHANALIAN SCULPTURES.                                         16$
111 the Hindu Pantheon the only personage said to have been of •wine-bib-
bing propensities is Balarama himself, one of the tutelary divinities of Ma-
thura ; and it is probably he who "was intended to be represented by a second
Bacchanalian figure included in the museum collection. This is a mutilated
statue brought from the village of Kukargama, in the Sa'dabad pargana.* He
" stands under the conventional canopy of serpents' heads, with a garland of
wild-flowers (ban-mdla) thrown across his body ; liis right hand is raised above
Ms head in wild gesticulation and in his left hand lie holds a cup very similar
to the one shown in the Pali-khera sculpture. His head-dress closely resem-
bles Krishna's distinctive ornamentj the mitkut; bnfc it may be only the spiral
coil of hair observable in the SancM and Amararati sculptures. In any case,
the inference* must not be presed too far ; for, first, the hooded snake is as con-
stant an accompaniment of Sakya Muni as of Balarama ; and secondly, a third
sculpture of an equally Bacchanalian character is unmistakeably Buddhist*
This is a rudely executed figure of a fat little fellow, who has both his hands
raised above his hand, and holds in one a cup, in the other a bnnch of grapes,
The head with its close curling hair leaves no doubt that Buddha is the person
intended ; though possibly in the days of his youth, when " he dwelt still in his
palace and indulged himself in all carnal pleasures." Or it might be a cari-
cature of Buddhism as regarded from the point of view of a Brahnianical
ascetic.
*At Kufcargama is an ancient shrine of Kukar Devi, where a inela is held on the festival
of the Final-del Cbait bad! 7.   Though in a dilapidated condition, the building is qaite a modern
one, a small dome supported on plain brick arches; but on the floor, which is raised several feet
above the level of the ground, is a plinth, 4 feet 8 inches square, formed of massive blocks of a
hard and closel j grained grey stone. The mouldings are bold and simple like what may be seen
in the oldest Kashmir temples. One side of the plinth is imperfect and the stone has also been
removed from the centre, leaving a circular hollow, which the villagers think "was a 'well. But
more probably the shrine vas originally one of M&hadeva, aad this was -the bed la which a
round iingam had been sefc. In a corner of the building vere two mutilated sculptures of similar
design, and is was the more perfect of these two that I remored to Mathara. A sketch of it
may be seen in Volume XLIV. of the Journal of the Calcutta Asiatic Society's Journal lor 1875.
A few paces from the shrine is a email brick platform, level with, the ground,, which is said
to cover the grave of the dog (Kvkura} from whom the village ia supposed to derive its name ;
and persons bitten by a dog are brought here to be cored. The adjoining poad called Kfirha (for
J£ultura-kd} is said to have been constructed byj, Banjara. Very large bricks are occasionally
dug up out of it, as also from the village Khera; one measured 1 foot 5 incBtes In. length bj la
inches in breadth and 3 in thickness, another 1 foot 7 inches x 9 incbes x 2| inches. It is of
interest to obsenre that on the west coast of the Gulf of Cambay, 20 miles south of
is another place now called Kukarf the ancient name of which, as appears from ag
found there, was Enkata; but the deriTation is uncertain. The old J&t zamind&a* a»
or Sisodiya, Thakurs from Sabpeo.
43